Turmeric is a spice they have been using in India, SE Asia, and the Middle East for over 100 years. It’s probably more like 1000 years but I know I read things that say 100+ years… It’s active ingredient is something called curcumin. This actually gives it that bright yellow like pigment. It’s this bright coloring that lends it very useful as a food coloring or dye.
Black pepper increases the absorption. I’ve mentioned, in the past, how I like it with milk, so it’s a great idea to put some black pepper in to. I like to add some red pepper too (dried), to give it a little spice. Most Indian food will have many different spices, so chances are that it has turmeric and black pepper in it.
To make your turmeric milk: Put 1 cup of milk on the stove-top in a stainless steel pan. Add a half teaspoon of turmeric. Stir and bring to a boil. It’s ready to drink…
I actually like to whisk it. Not only does it help disperse the turmeric but it froths up the milk.
*Of note: do not let your milk overflow the pan. It makes for a nasty, stinky mess, that’s a pain to clean up. I know because I’ve done it a couple times – my recommendation is to not leave it unattended. When the milk comes to a boil, remove it from the hot burner. You will see the milk going down immediately.
Have there been any studies on the health benefits of Turmeric?
Yes, indeed there have! Studies have shown that it has been beneficial in heart health by improving electrical conductivity and reducing lipid plaque build up in the arteries.
A double blind study for 8 months of 100 subjects, ages 45-64, showed improved arthritis symptoms. Another study with 107 subjects that have knee arthritis, it was shown to have equal effects of ibuprofen. It was shown on another study to have pain relief capabilities comparable to acetaminophen.
Studies also sowed a reduction of inflammation with supplementation. Not to mention an association with reduced prostate cancer, ulcerative colitis, and increased vascular function. A double blind, placebo controlled study, showed it helped type II diabetic neuropathy.
Getting as many nutrients from whole foods is always best, but sometimes it’s just not possible, or you just don’t have the opportunities to have food with turmeric in it. Nothing to fear – they now have turmeric/curcumin in capsules.